Gators Weekly: McElwain taking Florida football in right direction
The Gators handed it to the Bulldogs last Saturday, and it showed that they just might have what it takes to get to the next level.
The Florida Gators beat the Georgia Bulldogs, 27-3, in a game where they never trailed and dominated the whole way. It’s Florida’s second straight victory in the annual rivalry game, and shows that the program is headed back on track.
The one man who deserves credit for steering that train is Jim McElwain. He’s turned this program from facing its darkest hours to now making a deep SEC run. One reason this program has changed around McElwain is the attitude around the team. “I don’t expect to lose, and we should never come into an event thinking we are going to come in second,” McElwain said. “The one thing you learn real quick in this business is that there are no participation ribbons.”
The team under former head coach Will Muschamp went 4-8 in 2013, and 7-5 in 2014. In McElwain’s first year, he’s led the team to a 7-1 record and one win away from an SEC East title. “It’s a good vibe on this team,” Hargreaves said. “We know we have more to accomplish, but it’s awesome [to be in position to win the SEC East].”
However, the team has had to overcome a lot to get to this point. They’ve survived their starting quarterback getting suspended, they now lead the SEC with 19 takeaways, and they have a Top-15 defense. It can also be argued that the Gators were a fake field goal away against LSU, from still being undefeated today. However, even though with the loss the Gators are looking great, as they were ranked #10 in the first College Football Playoff poll this week and, with their schedule, still have a shot for the Playoff.
McElwain and his squad have no intention to overlook their schedule, however, and like to take it game by game. “It’s not about thinking about going to the championship,” McElwain said. “It’s about what we do right now to get better, because a championship will never come if we don’t take care of the now. Our guys are getting that.”
Florida moves on to play the Vanderbilt Commodores this week in their homecoming game and clinch the SEC East with a win.
Prediction for VAN @ UF: The defense carried the team most of the way throughout the Georgia game and I expect that to continue with this game and every game following that. Defense has always been a focal point and a reliable source at Florida, but the question is if QB Treon Harris and RB Kelvin Taylor can get the offense moving effectively; not only for this game, but for those moving forward. However, for this game Florida continues to bulldoze through its SEC East schedule and wins comfortably in Gainesville against a weaker opponent.
Predicted Score: UF 33 VAN 3